I’ve been gradually decluttering my home for a while now, and after spending time yesterday doing some more, it occurred to me this morning that I’ve come along way since I first read Marie Kondo’s book. These are 10 of the things I’ve learned along the way, as I’ve been decluttering my own home:
- Decluttering forces you to confront some of your buying mistakes. This can be painful, but when you reframe them as learning experiences, you can move on.
- Whether you realise it or not, there are many emotions attached to things. Many of the things I held on to didn’t make me happy or were functional, yet I still held onto them. It was my home, and yet things I didn’t like stayed there because of, for example, who gave them to me. I didn’t want to offend a person by not having the item the gave me on display. However, I learned to separate the person from the object, and only keep what I liked. Some objects actually felt like someone else was imposing their interior design ideas on me. That had to stop for this to be MY home!
- The decision to let go and actually letting go are two different things. I had a bag of clothes travelling with me in the boot of my car for a week!
- In order to be able to tidy up, each and every item in your home needs it’s own place in that home. I found that this simple premise enabled me to realise when things weren’t in the right place for them, and find them a suitable place. Once everyone knew where that was, things migrated back there.
- I had duplicates because I couldn’t find the original. By decluttering, and knowing where everything is, and should be, I was able to stop wasting money.
- I didn’t get it right the first time, but by persisting, I was able to find the best way of decluttering for me. Some people can declutter a little each day, however, what works for me is laser-focused effort in one day. By setting aside a complete day, I could focus on one group of items, gathering them up, sorting them out and then finding them the right home.
- Folding is kind of cool. I can see what I have, whenever I open my drawers. In addition, my drawers are so tidy, I’ve enjoyed maintaining them for a month now.
- The KonMari technique works to a point. However, there are some things that she advocates that I disagree with. One example is the cutting of labels from clothes. When you try to sell clothes, those labels are the difference between actually being able to sell the item and donating it. People pay for labels! The other thing I disagree with is the keeping of paperwork. I have much more life experience than Marie Kondo, and this has taught me that when dealing with bureaucracies, you need to be able to prove your point by using evidence. My husband set up a new company years ago, and this triggered something within the tax authorities that resulted in them sending him a bill for £10k for a company he previously held and had closed down. Because my husband kept the records pertaining to that first company well after he should have, he was able to prove them wrong, and they found the relevant records in a different part of the country. The problem is, he had to prove them wrong. Without the paperwork, he wouldn’t have been able to do so. When it comes to paperwork around the law, business and tax authorities, you need to hang onto every piece of evidence.
- Clean and tidy are two different things. Being tidy means everything is where it should be. Being clean, means dusting, washing floors etc. To have a home fit for company, your home needs to be both clean and tidy.
- In order to have a home that you feel able to welcome people into, for me at least, the ground floor needs to stay clean and tidy. What works for me is tidying up in the morning. It’s the time of day when I have most energy, and so putting the dishwasher on, a load of washing, doing yesterday’s ironing, dusting and giving the floor a quick wipe are enough to maintain this area.
I’ve been decluttering for a while now, and it’s still a work in progress if I’m honest, however, I’ve come a long way since I started and my home is beginning to reflect this.
Take care for now